Kevin Plaxco

Headshot of Kevin Plaxco


(805) 893-5558
Bioengineering, Room 3002
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5070

Research Areas: 

Folding-based sensors
Principles of protein folding
Terahertz absorption spectroscopy and the collective dynamics of water and biomolecules

ME Research Areas: 

Research Description: 

The aim of the Plaxco lab’s applied research is to harness the speed and specificity of biopolymer folding as a signal transduction mechanism in a novel and highly general class of real-time, “real-world” optical and electronic biosensors. In related studies we are exploiting the extraordinary cooperativity of folding for the creation of adaptive, responsive surfaces and materials. The goal of our basic research is the development and testing of a quantitative, first principles theory of the mechanism by which proteins fold. Related theoretical and experimental projects include intensive studies of the structure and dynamics of the unfolded state and the collective dynamics of the native state.